There are certain days one must make time for tea. But since not all like tea, I should relent from my strong opinion! But I bet everyone reading would agree that there are certain days that one must make time for a friend. Just a few weeks back, I made time for my friend P and she made time for me. All we had was tea. We ate no cookies or cake. We simply sipped tea. It was a rich time. She brought out her glass tea pot and the jasmine bloom tea. She placed this tightly packed bulb into the pot, soaking it in the hot water. And then, tada!! It ended up looking like this. Gah! I had never seen anything like it. It delighted P that it delighted me.
Prior to our tea time, the text message went something like this:
P: When can we meet this week?
Me: You and me?
P: Yep. You and me babe. Wed lunch?
Me: I could do after 1pm…tea at your place! I have a meeting prior to that.
P: Do it! I’ll be home.
Me: Excellent. When I finish up I’ll come by. Probably can stay about 45 min or so.
For the record, I stayed over 2 hours. For the record, this was during a busy week. She had just a few days here in town in between some major work related travel. I was furiously meeting with students to get them ready for the start of the semester.
And notice, I invited myself to her house. I’ve learned I can do that with her. And I’ve learned most people like that. Besides, P keeps it simple. She makes it easy to invite yourself. Again, all we had was tea. But the tea involved lots of conversation, some of it just about ordinary life. But we also talked about our Moms and her Dad. “I need to get out to see them so I’m going at the end of this month,” she said. Our conversation included tears, encouraging each other to be brave and courageous in these years of caring for our aging parents. “Don’t try to get a ton of stuff accomplished. Remember you can’t fix things too much,” I encouraged. “Just practice being WITH them.”
This is what P and I do a lot. We encourage each other in these years of looking over our parents. She does it for me, as I care for my Mom with Alzheimer’s. I can’t tell you how wonderful P has been to me.
So P went to be with her Mom and Dad. And then she came home. And, just a few days later, her Mom died very suddenly. It truly was VERY sudden and shockingly unexpected.
We did not know when we decided to make time for tea, that we would talk about our Moms and her Dad. We did not know just a few weeks later her Mom would no longer be here. We did not know. But we are women of Christian faith and I suspect God knew. His Spirit prompted us that day to be WITH each other. Perhaps it was so P could be strengthened for the days ahead. She would have to say. For me? I think I experienced his voice. I needed this on so many levels. I kind of think it was a miracle that P and I met that day. I’ve been asking God to open my eyes to his presence.
Friendship is important. I think I’m committed to keeping this an active part of my life.
I love you P. I’m glad we decided to make time for tea. But more importantly we made time for each other that day. I’m praying for you. As you have reminded me, we do not grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4). When you come home, let’s have more tea (and probably more tears).